One of the biggest challenges faced by those on the road to weight loss is battling the urge to snack on foods like pastries, donuts, burgers, candies and chips. Not only are these options chockfull of calories, they contain saturated and trans fats that lead to heart disease and a host of other health issues. However, contrary to the belief that snacks are evil and the bane of every dieter's efforts to lose weight, healthy snacking should be made part of every meal plan. Munching on healthful food options can prevent you from feeling deprived and hence allow you to remain true to your weight loss diet.

The key to eating healthily in between main meals is to keep to 100-calorie snacks. By eating snacks that are low in calories, you prevent yourself from feeling deprived. With 100-calorie snacks, you avoid gobbling the burgers and fries and guzzling down the soda. You also remain in control of the number of calories you ingest all through the day.

You can make your own low-calorie snacks or buy prepackaged ones. The good thing about purchasing prepackaged stuff is that you don't have to worry about counting the number of calories-- they are already made to give you your allocation of 100 calories in one snacking. On the negative side, these processed snack packs are laden with preservatives and sodium that can adversely affect your health. While homemade 100- calorie snacks are infinitely healthier and fresher, you do have to still determine that all your ingredients won't go over the stipulated number of calories.

100-calorie snacks that you can include in your snacking regimen are whole fruits and vegetable sticks without the fatty dips. Fresh fruit slices are better compared to dried fruit. Vegetables, cottage cheese on whole grain crackers and half a cup of creamy peanut butter on a small banana make fresh and healthy light-calorie snack. A cup of fresh or frozen strawberries, low-fat soy yogurt or one apple can definitely fill you up without fattening you up.

Moreover, these snacks should not necessarily be all healthy and nutritious. You can allow yourself a little indulgence here and there when your body asks you so. For as long as you do not exceed 100 calories, you should be fine. Thus you can have two cookies, a small chocolate bar or a small ice cream cup sometimes. Take note, however, that these are highly addictive snacks and one little portion can easily lead to another, so observe due self-control.

Your snacks will depend on the number of calories your body needs each day. Thus, a regular adult who is trying to maintain intake of 2000 calories a day can benefit by having two 100- calorie snacks daily to feel satisfied. Always have these light snacks in your bag wherever you go so you are not tempted to buy any unhealthy food options from the grocery store. When you're traveling, opt for prepackaged snacks since they keep longer and are hands down more convenient compared to homemade ones.

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Author's Bio: 

Kylie is a full-time mother of 3 and a freelance writer for ShakeNutrition.com.